TIME FOR BASEBALL! Keith Law’s Top 100 prospects — wanted to reblog, here:

HardballTalk

As yesterday’s top farm systems list, Keith Law’s annual Top 100 Prospects list also on ESPN’s Insider so, sorry, you gotta pay to see it all. But it’s also one of the annual must-reads in all of baseball, so not linking it would be bloggy malpractice.

The top: The Rangers’ Jurickson Profar. Number 100: The Orioles’ Eduardo Rodriguez. In between: 98 other dudes, all with Law’s assessment of them.

Nowhere on the list is Andy Marte. Which, frankly, is kind of a bummer. I think he’s about ready.

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7 things we’ll see in SB XLVII

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Harbowl, Superbaugh, Brother Bowl, whatever you want to call it – I’m SO EXCITED! Look at these guys. Can you imagine? I feel like you can’t be exactly sure of a winner here. There’s so much emotion and buildup that has snowballed through the season for both teams. Whether you’re a fan of either franchise or not, I think Sunday will be exciting!

Here’s a few of the reasons why:

1. Since week 11, Kaepernick seems to be everyone’s new favorite word (he’s already filed to trademark ‘Kaepernicking’). He’s had quite a platform for the second half of his season – and done pretty well with it. Will his running style actually influence the way we think…?  Love that his college Nevada Coach Ault said, “Never thought I’d see my pistol offense in the Super Bowl.”

2. RAYx2. Retirement party postponed till Sunday/Hey Diddle Diddle! These guys are enough to keep me entertained and they’re in the same jersey. If your world doesn’t stop turning when Ray Lewis speaks, I don’t know if it ever will.

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3. BEYONCÉ. Is all that is woman!

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4. Is Joe Flacco an elite QB? You’ll hear plenty of discussion on this topic this elsewhere, so I won’t start overloading you now!

5. The 49ers are going for their sixth Super Bowl, while the Baltimore Ravens are going for their second. 25-year-old Kaep had 3 NFL completions before this season, and the Ravens have overcome a huge amount of obstacles and setbacks this year. The road to the big stage has been extremely difficult and eventful.

6. The chorus of Sandy Hook Elementary School will sing “America the Beautiful” before kickoff. It will be a part of CBS’s pregame show, followed by Alicia Keys singing the national anthem.

7. Nike has unveiled the innovative collaboration of uniforms for the two teams. I know it’s more fun to look at them, so go go go right now and check it out here.

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My Prediction- Baltimore 28- San Francisco – 21

Here’s to you, Baylor

After moving back from New York, I headed to stay in Waco for the week prior to graduation. I expected my street to have it’s usual busyness: people constantly on the sidewalk and our porch, cars flying by with sonic cups hanging out the windows, and the guys next door blaring Lynard Skynard. But to my surprise, it wasn’t like that at all. All of the undergrad students had headed home for summer, and all that remained were me and my gals and our class.

The quietness and calmness of my porch swing at dusk gifted me the opportunity of reflecting on all of the ways Baylor has cultivated me; the way I carry myself, the way my mind works and the condition of my heart. If you’ve ever spoken to a Baylor alum or current student, I think we all say the same things about our university. “There’s really no place like Baylor,” or, “I left my heart in Waco,” or, “Actually, I like Waco,”… I mean…Where else can you get free Dr. Pepper floats, play tennis, see live bears on campus, have Chick-fil-A and buy every Heisman t-shirt imaginable within about 15 yards of each other!?! BUT. In comparison of what this university and it’s people have done to challenge, grow and condition me for this world, those amenities are miniscule. I’m a passionate believer in worth, purpose and continual forward progress in all aspects of life. And things, objects, and tangibles that the world brings do not contribute to progression. The catalyst for authentic improvement and passionate persistence are derived from the core of your being, and the people that have helped in contouring your zeal for life.

In a society where everything is changing, it’s inevitable that to ‘stay with the pack’, a person or organization must grit their teeth and make adjustments – no matter what. Technology, social media, job markets, ways of competing, strategies for forward progress: they’re all constantly evolving – and consequently, weeding out the laggers. A common ‘mistake’, if you will, in this ongoing process, is altering the core of your being to keep up with society.

To be yourself in a society that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Enter Baylor. My four years at Baylor was an era where I watched the entire eclipse of the process. Thousands of students and I witnessed Baylor be bold. Making moves. Making changes. But Baylor didn’t take these leaps to stay with the pack: she jumped up front and said, “I’ll lead”.

I’ll reflect on our athletic program, since that’s where I devoted my studying, time and attention. I have to believe that for this 2011-2012 school year, Baylor is the hottest athletic program in the country. But it wasn’t by mere chance. I wrote in an earlier post regarding the rapid change in Baylor’s football program over the course of four short seasons. Producing a Heisman winner didn’t come by chance. It didn’t come by doing what other schools or programs did. But  Briles made changes in order to produce different results. The vision for change comes from an inner desire to be loyal to the university while lovingly making bold changes at the same time. And when the nation started scratching their heads and peering into campus, quickly recognized the authenticity of Baylor.

I have been blessed enough to spend the most revolutionary, exciting and memorable era at Baylor in many years. The people I have worked and studied alongside are on the move, headed for success and happy. There is an inner peace and contentment knowing that the people surrounding me are supporting my every move. I am confident that my best friends, coworkers, classmates and professors will rejoice with me when I succeed, help me up when I’m down and walk with me through life. Baylor fam.

So to the professors who listened to me spill about my dreams for so many of your after hours – thank you for realistically preparing me, yet still encouraging me for my future. To the SID’s and coaches – your loyalty and faithfulness is the backbone of our program, and the success ultimately rests on your love for this university. Thank you for giving us an example of dedication paying off. To my late night hoopers – I always felt like I was wearing #15 on my back, and each time I got knocked down after a long day made me better – thanks for physically pushing me. (And to the people working out next to me in the SLC – we were always competing whether you knew it or not.) To my friends and classmates – you showed me what community and love and support looks like… at all times. Thank you for a beautiful picture of service and support. And to everyone coming to, going from or just passing by: join me in thanking Baylor for so earnestly chasing after success while still remaining true to the foundational beliefs as an institution. Thank you, Baylor, for displaying to me the most beautiful portrait of success imaginable.

More on Baylor’s hottest year in athletics, ever: Ian McCaw Should Be AD of Year / BU Athletic Program Hits the Big Time / Baylor Sports Revival / For Baylor, Business is Finished / Baylor sees rise in applications  / Baylor has made a remarkable rise in redemption

I planted my heart in the Garden

If someone would have told me even just ten years ago, that I would spend a semester living in the heart of New York City (and be a graduate of Baylor University!) I know exactly what look would be plastered on my face. And some of you do too! I’m fully confident when I claim that my life hasn’t ‘worked out’ normally, but has been divinely constructed. There have been avenues and opportunities provided to me that have no explanation. I know I have experienced grace in abundance, just like you.

There were times I’d be strolling down Broadway on a Friday night with my friends and it would hit me. This beautiful, contrasting, simplistic picture in my mind – of me, so young and innocent, in a small country home with my family. It’s an incredible and imperative thing that we sometimes halt, and wholeheartedly trek backward in time to re-enter the times that shaped us. And stay there a while. But, equally important, is to pause and take a mental picture of where you currently stand.

I found myself doing this almost every day in NYC. Not only is season in my life the craziest, most mysterious and challenging era thus far – every thought, every decision, every opportunity was amped a million times while in the heart of the city. I spent each day – yes, every single day – carefully crafting a balance between establishing myself as a powerful, positive woman entering into my industry, and remaining true to the girl who sat barefoot on the banks of the pond in Oklahoma growing up. The first thing I did when I got home was go fishing… So I think I succeeded. 🙂

Another thing I did, without knowing it, was joining the heartbeat of NYC. It’s almost a subconscious thing; you have NO idea you’re in it, until you look at the skyline the night before leaving. The city has a way of grabbing you, whether you’re quiet, small, boisterous, powerful, lethargic, persistent, evil or good: and making you it’s own. The heart of the city shaped my mindset to wake up every day with a desire to compete, to be better than I was just 24 short hours ago, to be better than the cat next to me on the subway, to not just be inspired, but inspire. It’s an addictive game, an astounding mindset. You can’t grow complacent, because you don’t have time. You don’t get tired, because the only time you think about your bed is when you’re falling in it. You never really ‘get over’ the lights at night – well, that might just be me. But I’m fine with admitting it. Sure, I know my way around Manhattan like a local. But the times I was too lost in the moment to act like one – are my most cherished of all.

Spending each day and night at the most famous arena in the world took my capacity of respecting the world of sports to an entire new set of levels. Hosting over 320 events annually, there’s never a moment of rest on 8th Ave. Home of millions of athletes’ favorite memories, the Garden is now absolutely one of mine. I think my fellow interns started to worry about me when it was almost late April and I still walked into the arena gushing, beaming, and skipping around the surrounding streets like it was Christmas eve. There’s a different vibe in the Garden. The most passionate, devoted and critical fans in the entire world roar and engulf your every move. Every matchup at the Garden carries weight – a different kind of weight. Every regular season game feels like a championship and the hype is sincerely never-ending. The motto for the arena is, “It’s different here”. I think you’re starting to get that by everything I’ve written.


But just in case you’re looking for proof, check out this video below. I worked at MSG with Ryan Watson, who made these promos, and there were many days after work I’d stop by his edit bay to just to get a preview of what he was producing. He’s super talented and can compile videos to move even the toughest fans alive! Enjoy!

 

 

History in the making

If you follow baseball at all, you are certainly aware of this freaky streak Josh Hamilton’s got goin’ on. I’m pleased to say that my lingering thoughts (nightmares) of him in a different jersey are gone. In fact, all I’ve been able to think about is how unexplainable his performance actually is. He is truly in his own world – and I really think we’re all speechless at this point.

As of tonight’s 4-1 win over the Astros, Hamilton’s hit streak increases to 16 games – obviously the best in the MLB. His average is at .402, with 18 HR and 45 RBI’s. He’s our Triple Crown threat right now, and it’s honestly chilling to know the Rangers are only 38 games into the season…

Attempting to predict his pace for the season is entertaining and alarming all at the same time! SportsDayDFW took a ‘look at what could be’, and it’s pretty eye opening. And as if the era couldn’t be any sweeter – you’ve now got the liberty to tell him how great he is – Josh has joined us on Twitter! (Don’t forget to wish him a happy birthday on May 21!)

Click below to watch Josh slam his 18th homer off CJ Wilson:

Truth’s out, and so is Perry

In honor of Baylor kicking off the Big 12 Tournament in electric fashion today, I’ve decided to take some time to highlight the shining player.

Okay, you know I’m punny.

But, seriously. Since being suspended one year ago the night before the Big 12 Tournament, Perry Jones III had yet to make his mark in the postseason run – until now. In his eighth double-double of the season, Jones III dropped 31 points, snagged 11 rebounds and made his possessions meaningful.

I’m not even going to talk about what his ‘fans’ have labeled his season. I won’t compare stats from his freshman and sophomore year. I’ve got something way, way better for you… A missing piece to your puzzle, if you will. Oh, you’re into solving things? Here’s a big piece of why I think Perry dominated today:

ESPN college basketball writer Jason King has uncovered everything you need to know. Read King’s article, There’s More to PJ3 Than Some Realize, here